Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. – Another maker of unlocked smartphones is entering the U.S. market and targeting retail channels, and unlike some competitors, this one has the backing of a parent company that is the third largest cellphone supplier in China.
Beijing-based K-Touch is the parent, and its U.S. company is KPhone USA, which plans October U.S. availability of the LTE-equipped K5 Android smartphone at what it calls an “aggressive price.” The company’s web site shows a suggested retail price of $349.
“As a part of the third largest smartphone manufacturer in China, KPhone is uniquely positioned to develop innovative products and scale its production to meet the demands of the North American market,” the company said.
“Unlocked phones, common around the globe, are gaining popularity in the U.S. because they give users access to the latest technology and the flexibility to switch between supported networks with no termination fees,” the company added. The growth of carriers’ bring-your-own-device plans is also contributing to unlocked-phone growth, KPhone said.
“Being one of the largest cellphone manufacturers in China means that the team at KPhone understands what it takes to succeed in this competitive market: great design, high-quality products, strong manufacturing capabilities, and a focus on your customers,” said Scott Robbins, VP of retail-channel sales. K-Touch runs design centers and R&D facilities in Beijing and Shenzhen, he noted.
The K5 operates on the T-Mobile and AT&T networks and features Android 5.0 Lollipop, 5-inch 1080×720 IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass, Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 13-megapixel auto-focus back camera, 5-megapixel front camera with 1080p video capture, dual SIM card slots, lithium-ion 2920 mAh battery with quick-charge capability, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, noise-reducing dual microphones, and flashlight.
The company’s web site also shows two other Android 5.0 phones with LTE. Their availability wasn’t announced. They are the $449 K5+ with 5.5-inch display and $549 K6 with 6-inch display.
The K5+ sports FHD 1920×1280 display, Qualcomm 8952 octacore processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and dual SIM, while the K6 features one SIM, 8939 octacore processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and LTPS IPS 1920×1080 display.